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Newly flush Berkshire Museum seeks public help Appeal follows final accounting to AG’s office on art sale proceeds

The Lost Pleiad statue looms large near the staircase leading to the Ellen Crane Memorial Room at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield. In his first Annual Fund appeal since joining the museum as executive director last spring, Jeff Rodgers aims to raise $100,000 – the museum’s first such campaign since it raised $53.25 million by selling 22 pieces from its collection. – Photo by Ben Garver

by Larry Parnass, The Berkshire Eagle

PITTSFIELD — With investment income now covering one-third of its budget, the Berkshire Museum is back in supporters’ mailboxes with an upbeat report — and a different kind of “ask.”

The appeal will test public willingness to donate to a nonprofit whose leaders in 2017 opted to close operating deficits by cashing out much of its most valuable works of art.

In his first Annual Fund appeal since joining the museum as executive director last spring, Jeff Rodgers skips what he terms the typical money pitch. It is the first such campaign since the museum raised $53.25 million by selling 22 pieces from its collection.

“This has been anything but a typical year,” Rodgers writes.

Jeff Rogers

ABOUT

SAVE THE ART (STA)
A grassroots citizens group established in 2017 with the intent of stopping the sale of the Berkshire Museum’s treasured art collection in order to find an alternate solution to its continued financial shortfall.

MISSION

The mission of Save the Art is to advocate for and protect the Public Trust — the art and objects belonging to all of us that document humankind’s creative and social history through time.

PRESS

We thank the Berkshire Eagle for their extensive investigative coverage, the journalists, op-ed writers and our community for their hundreds of letters of concern and applaud Larry Parnass / Investigations Editor for his 2018 Outstanding Journalism award. See The Berkshire Eagle page located in Press menu.